Ethio-American performs to a sold-out crowd
Berhana, a 27 year old Ethiopian–American artist regarded as an up and coming artist has brought his show to Addis Ababa last night. The Atlanta born artist reflected how exciting it was to perform in Ethiopia in an interview with The Reporter. This was Berhana’s first visit to the nation where his parents were born.
The Atlantic’s Hannah Giorgis described his debut LP, HAN, as one that “builds on the warm and woozy soundscape that defined his breakout single, Janet.”
“I was born to an Ethiopian family in the states near Atlanta. I always made music for myself but started pursuing it in a serious manner a few years ago, when I released my EP. This is actually my first time in Ethiopia,” he said adding, “I’ve wanted to come for as long as I can remember so this is a very special trip for me.”
His mother left Ethiopia at the age of 18 for the United States but decided to prolong her stay because of the political climate back home. At his Ethiopian debut concert, she was by his side cheering him on, after returning to the country of her birth from a 45 year hiatus.
Influenced by the music of Ethiopian Jazz King Mulatu Astatke, Daivd Bowie and Stevie Wonder, he played a wide range of music inside Villa Verde to a sold out crowd last night.
I am influenced by all types of music. Some of my favorite Japanese music came from the late 70’s/early 80’s, a very special time in music,” he told The Reporter.
The once Chef of Japanese cuisine, he said that he enjoys music that are different.
“My favorite artists were the ones who didn’t allow themselves, to be boxed into any specific style. They created their own lane. Stevie Wonder, Bowie, Mulatu, Pharrell, etc. the list is too long,” he concluded. “Music will take me wherever it takes me. I just hope to create honestly for as long as I can. And my goal is that this concert in Ethiopia is the first of many.”